Home / Front Page Slider / Shalom House rehab program concerns drug expert
Nicole Lee from the National Drug Research Institute says the withdrawal processes shown in the Australian Story episode on Shalom House are concerning.

Shalom House rehab program concerns drug expert

THERE are some concerns with aspects of the Shalom House rehabilitation program according to an alcohol and drug addiction expert.

National Drug Research Institute adjunct associate professor Nicole Lee said one of the issues with inexperienced treatment providers designing a program on their own based on their personal experience was they often failed to understand the big picture.

Dr Lee said some of the withdrawal processes shown in the Australian Story episode in April were very concerning.

“Withdrawal is at best extremely uncomfortable for most people and at worst physically dangerous,’’ she said.

“People shouldn’t be required to do heavy labour or dangerous activities while going through withdrawal.’’

Dr Lee said research (albeit limited) showed confrontational, shaming approaches to drug treatment often backfired.

“We have been rapidly moving away from these types of approaches since at least the 1980s and very few mainstream residential treatments would have any remnants of this type of approach.

“It was based on the idea that people needed to hit rock bottom, but we know this is not the case now.

“People sometimes recover from drug use problems despite these types of treatments not because of them.’’

Another concern Dr Lee had with the Shalom House program was that the only data presented in the Australian Story episode in April was anecdotal.

“Personal experience is an important part of understanding the effects and outcomes of treatment but treatment providers also need to be able to document basic outcomes.

“Accredited publicly funded services are required to document this data quarterly.

“The (unsubstantiated) figures that Peter Lyndon-James gave, – a 40 per cent dropout and 50 per cent ‘success’ rate (80 per cent of the 60 per cent that didn’t drop out) – are actually worse than mainstream treatment at around 35 per cent and 65 per cent respectively.

“It’s actually relatively easy for someone to get off and stay off drugs in a contained environment like a drug free residential setting.

“The real test comes after treatment and there’s no data to show what the relapse rates are from this program.

“I don’t know of any mainstream publicly funded treatments that operate with a boot camp approach.

“We know that this can backfire and a structured but compassionate approach is more effective for more people.’’

Dr Lee is a director of 360Edge (www.360edge.com.au) a specialist evaluation and training consultancy for the alcohol and other drugs and mental health sectors.

She is a practicing psychologist, and has worked in the alcohol and drug and mental health fields for 25 years as clinician, trainer, researcher and manager.

Her main areas of expertise are in methamphetamine policy and practice, alcohol and other drug dependence, and co-occurring mental health and substance use.

Meanwhile, the City of Swan has provided Echo News with statistics which show most people who support the centre do not live near it and actually do not even live in the local government area.

City of Swan chief executive officer Mike Foley said the city had received 115 submissions objecting to Shalom House and 447 letters of support for the centre.

But a closer look at the support statistics show the city received 13 submissions of non-objection from properties in Henley Brook, 81 submissions of non-objection from properties not in Henley Brook but in the City of Swan and 353 submissions of non-objection from properties not in the City of Swan.

Last week Shalom House founder Mr Lyndon-James was asked if the rehab centre was accredited through a recognised health accreditation standard.

He was also asked if the rehab centre had made a submission to the Mental Health Commission on what a compulsory alcohol and other drug treatment program should look like in Western Australia and if so if Echo News could have a copy of the submission.

By Anita McInnes

About Anita

Anita Mcinnes received a highly commended in the 2009 WA Media Awards suburban section for her reporting. Two of her sons were born at Swan District Hospital and for many years she was a partner in a small business, which operated in the Gingin-Muchea-Bullsbrook area. As a mature age student Anita studied journalism at Curtin University before working in Busselton, Dunsborough and Rockingham with West Regionals. She says the best part of her job is meeting eastern suburb residents and visiting the many attractions in the area.

24 comments

  1. It’s all very well for Foley to be quoting the submissions for and against but some consistency would be good. Remember the submissions on the Midland Oval’s proposed destruction. Smoke and mirrors stuff.

    And now we have an academic casting doubts based on a TV show. I do wonder why the NDIR had not responded sooner.

    I realise it’s a pipe dream but why can’t Foley and Co and Dr. Lee actually meet with Lyndon-James at Shalom House and have a face to face discussion.

    Is there anything this Council can do without causing controversy.

    As a City of Swan ratepayer I am sick and tired of hearing the same BS, how about being constructive and listening to ratepayers. What a pity we cannot vote out a CEO but we are looking forward to the Local Government review.

    However, it is my opinion that it is results that count and bearing in mind Shalom House is treating people that “the system” cannot just what is their problem.

  2. I congratulate the ECHO news for making the effort to provide its readers with the real facts! We already know that this operation is in breach of the City of Swan Local Planning Scheme and the Swan Valley Development Plan. This article now confirms that the vast majority of local Henley Brook residents *do not* want this illegal operation in their area and the rehab program itself raises serious concerns by the experts.

    The fact that local residents/ratepayers have been put directly in harm’s way is diabolical. Who knows what this mob can inflict on local residents resulting from mismanagement and the use of unqualified treatment providers!! Until this operation is removed from the Valley local residents should be on high alert. Also, local residents should be regularly informed of the criminal offences committed by the people being “treated” in their immediate area.

    The City of Swan, the local community and now the experts have spoken – WE *DO NOT* WANT THIS BURDEN IN OUR AREA!

    The arrogance and disrespect towards the City of Swan and the local community is utterly offensive!

    ps: I expect that any time soon we will see a facebook post or even a dedicated page discrediting the associate professor – pathetic!

    • Local resident

      Put directly in harm’s way? I seriously hope you know all your neighbours. my bet is that you’d have no idea of the types of things that go on in houses around you,
      Mismanagement? High alert? How ridiculous. have you been there? I’d hope neither you or anyone you ever know gets involved in drugs or any other kind of addiction , then let’s see how judgmental you are. when you realise the government programs will never cope with the volume of problems our society has.
      Get off your high horse and get into the current century, visit and listen rather than speak.
      We have two ears but only one mouth for a reason: we are designed to listen more than speak.
      And no, I’m not religious, just realistic nad hoping to one day see our communities working together to beat this horrific problem..
      just wondering where you think all these people should be, as I for one love that they are not sucking taxpayer funds, unlike many government programs.
      Braves enough to whinge anonymously but you offer no suggestions or solutions. Typical.

    • I am amazed at the biased, illiformed comments you have posted, anonymously may I add.

      This mob as you call them are human beings who deserve more respect amd less judgement than you have shown in your post.

      I have met many men in this program and they are to be lifted up, not put down for making a change in their lives and the unpaid work they do daily in your community.

      God knows the heart of these men and Peter himself, & He is happy lives are being restored.

      May God bless you over & above more abundantly than you could ever imagine. May He also remove the hard stone in your heart.

      Blessings

      Jacob Yardley

    • Dear Anonymous,
      Sounds like you have never even seen or spoken to this “mob” and yet you feel at liberty to judge them.
      Get off your high horse and go see these men for yourself!
      Maybe some decent human kindness, humbleness and respect will rub off on you.
      Here is the info of tomorrow’s info day:
      https://www.facebook.com/WASGinc/posts/1866297820286338:0

    • The ECHO has always presented well researched and objective articles.

      Can you provide crime statistics attributable to the people at Shalom House? I have no idea so maybe you can enlighten those of us not privy to this data.

      As for the City of Swan, it gets what it deserves, the arrogance and disrespect is not from the ratepayers.

      It beggars belief that C of S have not met with him.

      Your final statement doesn’t deserve a comment.

    • How narrow minded amd judgemental is ur thinking. People whom are changing their lives for the better and you seem to think that they have no right to be in ur area due to potential criminal convictions. Clearly the politicians arent providing more places for treatment for the ever increasing drug problem in perth. So what exactly is the issue with what peter is SUCCESSFULLY doing in “your community”? Hes helping others get their lives back thats what. Or he can do just like the politicians and the critical thinking people do and just turn his back on them…. then we will see just how much the drug problem continues to increase and ur community just may get a higher crime rate and more druggies as time goes by. Time people used CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM for a rapidly growing epidemic and how we could help curb it.

    • Are you suggesting that midland/swan/Henley brook isn’t already rife with meth addicts? Please do grow up

    • Local resident

      Put directly in harm’s way? I seriously hope you know all your neighbours. my bet is that you’d have no idea of the types of things that go on in houses around you, especially in the Shire of Swan.
      Mismanagement? High alert? How ridiculous. have you been there? I’d hope neither you or anyone you ever know gets involved in drugs or any other kind of addiction , then let’s see how judgmental you are when you realise the government programs will never cope with the volume of problems our society has.
      Get off your high horse and get into the current century.
      Why not be pro-active and supportive, and hope to one day see our communities working together to beat this horrific problem?
      Just wondering where you think all these people should be, as I for one love that they are not sucking taxpayer funds, unlike many government programs. I live very close to Shalom House and have been there several times. They are amazing.
      I’ve never been asked my opinion by the Shire of Swan and I believe the complaints and support have come from people writing in of their own accord, not a survey as such. I have to ask myself, have the whingers only written in as they have nothing better to do with their time? I would doubt many, if any, have been there to look, learn or volunteer.
      Brave enough to whinge anonymously but you offer no suggestions or solutions. How disappointing.

      Reply

  3. I work at a rescue which the boys come to every week…they are polite and respectful….they are never rude and appreciate all the help they are getting from Peter….people need to visit and see what he is doing that nobody else wants to do…I would be happy for them to live next door to me…their lives have been hell which has led them to drugs…if people dont want them there then maybe they should think what they would do if it was one of their family taking drugs….I would be more worried about the ones in the streets that are still on drugs and breakng into houses….If it was my son or daughter I would welcome them to go there…..This is one man doing what nobody else wants to do how about we support him and help….The shire is happy for them to be cleaning up the streets every week but not to live there….open your eyes Perth needs more Peter Lyndo James’s….The people that are saying no who live there how about going and talking to Peter…..yes I live in Caversham…..

  4. I fully support Shalom House in what theyre doing. I live in the valley and I would be more than happy to have this facilitiy next door to me. in fact im going to offer my help to them. Dont you see that what they’re doing is fundamental to helping blokes get back on the straight and narrow? They are providing a firm, kind, strict father figure that the guys can respect. Sure, some will fall off the wagon, but I applaud this work with drug affected men.

  5. Patricia Collopy

    I would love to know what these people are doing to help. I don’t care how expert someone is if they haven’t been where Peter Lyndon James has been as for the City of Swan I’d love to know how many sleepless nights these people have had worrying about their drug addicted children. Reading both these articles has made me furious.

  6. Who cares if Shalom House is accredited or not. Shalom House helps more addicts than a lot of so called accredited organisations. It is real people that help those with addictions , those that have experienced everything that life can throw at them, these are the people that have a better understanding of what needs to be done. Some things you just don’t learn out of books.

  7. Some people who have responded to the Echo post should take up the many offers Peter Lyndon-James has mad available to go see for themselves how Shalom House is run. I have had the opportunity several times to visit while the men are there. This is a very well run organisation offering addicts the chance to change their lives. The whole community are winners thanks to Shalom House.

  8. I reiterate:

    LOCAL RESIDENTS/PROPERTY OWNERS/RATEPAYERS

    *DO NOT* WANT

    THIS ILLEGAL AND MISMANAGED OPERATION

    IN THEIR AREA!!!

  9. I don’t see these hypocrites spending all their time and energy saving lives, till then they should shut their pie holes.

  10. Always healthy to hear different points of view however it is interesting to see all the positive support for Shalom is by people willing to post their name. An anonymous post stating local residents don’t want this in their area is somewhat misleading. I am a local resident whom lives on Park St and have nothing but support for Shalom house. I don’t know any of the local residents who don’t support this program. Whilst I understand the concerns some people may have with these facilities so close to residential areas I suggest they take the time to visit them and talk to the staff and residents to gain a better understanding before being so publicly judgemental. As a local resident I often see first hand how the staff and residents of Shalom mix within our community and I am always impressed with how they conduct themselves. To Peter and his team I say keep up the good work, let’s hope the Shire gain some common sense and and you finally gain the support from where you need it most mate

  11. Until the government provides a better option for $300 a week covering all expenses, without a long wait for treatment, leaving addicts dying in the streets, no one can criticise the man who has given his life to take these broken people in. Lives are at stake here. This woman is missing the point. Pete loves the guys. He helps restore entire families. He adores the men in his program. He’s hard line approach doesn’t lack compassion or tenderness or mercy! He just doesn’t tiptoe around issues. Men trust an honest bloke giving them the hard truths, over a politically correct coward. He might speak a foreign language to the journalists, (it’s called “English”), and not be fluent in “politically-correct-bullshitonese” ,but that doesn’t make his methods wrong. It just means he gets under hypocritical self-righteous people’s skin. If an untrained surf lifesaver finds a someone choking to death and unable to breathe, should they leave the person to die in case they get it wrong, or do their best to save them? This is the situation Pete faces daily. Dont condemn his efforts without providing a better alternative. There is a drug epidemic here. Times are desperate. And desperate times call for desperate measures.

  12. To the opposing residents of Shalom House in the City of Swan. Although I do not live in the C of S or a neighbouring property of Shalom House I am quite sure that Peter is running a well ordered respectful operation which will only continue to improve as the supporters are growing daily..

    Are they throwing wild parties? Disrespecting neighbouring properties? Violating noise ordinances?
    I don’t believe any of this to be the case. If not, why not try just observing for a while rather than judging and opposing? This is bigger than any of us.

    What we are witnessing here is unlike anything we have ever seen in the history of our country. Shalom House may not be run by clinical experts in substance abuse with all the formal qualifications.. but it is run by people who genuinely care for people and are 100% SELF FUNDED with REAL life changing results – many many lives are been changed for the better and it doesn’t matter if you want this rehab in your shire or not.. It is there for a reason because God’s hand is all over this.

    For all those who oppose this I pray that the Lord bless you abundantly exceedingly more than you can ever ask or hope for and I pray that the scales fall from your eyes to see the bigger picture here and that He remove the hardness of your hearts in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    Kind Regards,

  13. “Another concern Dr Lee had with the Shalom House program was that the only data presented in the Australian Story episode in April was anecdotal.”

    Yet you’re happy to take such adecdotal data along with the other necessarily limited insights into shalom house presented on a 40 min documentary that was actually focussing more on Petes story and from these make up your own criticisms from which the basis of an entire article is written to discredit this organisation. What a joke.

    Well my evidence isn’t anecdotal and I can tell you – that shalom house is no military boot camp; no one is “required to do heavy labor ” or any work which they can’t manage; that it is never “actually relatively easy for someone to get off and stay off drugs” and the program is specifically designed so the men don’t remain in a “contained environment “; and as for looking at the bigger picture, how about families reconnecting, sons restoring relationships with parents who’d given up on them, children getting their dads back, men putting back into the community instead of taking so much, fellas paying off debts, starting businesses, studying and completing qualifications, learning about dealing with conflict, identity, relationships, feelings, discipline, love and life. Finding hope and a purpose. It doesn’t get any bigger.

  14. Love all the comments back to anonymous n city of swan
    We have. Repeat We have a major problem in our community & I would like to see the govt assisted success rate Nicole.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

*